Review – Ash & Thorn #2 (Ahoy Comics)

Publisher: Ahoy Comics
Writer: Mariah McCourt
Artist: Soo Lee
Colourist: Pippa Bowland
Lettering: Rob Steen
Release Date: 8th July 2020

While Lottie Thorn continues her training, Peruvia seeks answers and assistance from the Guardians. However, upon discovering that Guardians have “fucked off”, she is left with the dubious support of Pickle, a bright blue Puck-like being who might not quite have our mighty hero’s best interests at heart. And when Lottie discovers a suspicious building development at the site of an earlier “rift”, things get a bit critical as Sarah is attacked in the mistaken belief that she is the Champion.

I’m really enjoying this new series. An apocalyptic, supernatural fantasy series with a difference. Namely, the fact that humanity’s best hope for salvation from the hordes of hell is a pair of geriatrics with no idea what they’re doing and no confidence in their own or each other’s abilities. It’s just great to watch!

During the first issue, I was wracking my brain as to what the writing reminded me of, and the penny finally dropped in this issue. There’s something of Douglas Addams and Ian Edginton in the way Maria McCourt writes her characters. I was particularly reminded of Edginton’s work on Rebellion’s Ampney Crucis series, a feeling which I think is only bolstered by Soo Lee’s artwork – itself fairly reminiscent of Simon Davis’ work on the same series.

I like that Peruvia doesn’t have all the answers, I like the fact that she has to figure it out as she goes, and I love the fact that she’s not scared of calling bullshit on the forces of light for not pulling their weight. Lottie is a great character, she’s got the gritty, world-weary Clint Eastwood outlook on life down pat, but at the same time she’s hiding a warm and caring person who would be grateful if someone would just put the kettle on and stop eating all the damned cake.

The pacing remains good in this issue. There’s a really good balance of plot progression and action, and while we’re still very much in the dark as to what form the apocalypse will take and what the true machinations of the demonic antagonists are, we’re definitely getting closer to seeing the bigger picture. It’s also good to see a growing confidence in our protagonists, although I get the feeling that Pickle is going to make life significantly more complicated for them rather than being of any genuine assistance. That said, I don’t think there’s any truly malicious intent on the imp’s part.

Once again Lee’s artwork does a grand job of bringing the story to life. There’s a few eldritch moments that are Lovecraftian enough to ring a bell for me, and while I can’t hand on heart say that every panel works for me, there is little to fault and it’s great fun to read.

I continue to be impressed with this series and I’m going to continue recommending that you grab a copy (and possibly a cup of tea and a slice of cake) and give this one a look.

Rating: 3.5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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